One month ago, it was all about an improving economy and jobs picture. Then the horrible May nonfarm payroll numbers came out, and quickly all bets were off. No June rate increase from the Federal Reserve, July looks out, and now one Fed governor says it’s possible there will only be one between now and 2018. Many Wall Street pros think the Federal Reserve is losing credibility with the markets. One thing seems very likely, rates are going nowhere.
Once again, income investors are the big losers as rates remain the lowest in over 50 years, and with many of the bond proxy stocks like utilities, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and master limited partnerships (MLPs) close to fully valued, the decision gets even harder. We screened the major indexes for higher yielding stocks that still have some upside potential. We found four that make good sense now.
This is a rural local exchange carrier that Merrill Lynch has remained positive on. Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) offers broadband, voice, video, wireless internet data access, data security solutions, bundled offerings, specialized bundles for residential customers, small businesses and home offices and advanced business communications for medium and large businesses in 28 states. Its approximately 17,800 employees are based entirely in the United States. Wall Street analysts note that the company has taken broadband share in almost 80% of operating markets last year.
The company’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Verizon’s wireline operations that were providing services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in California, Florida and Texas are a huge difference maker when it comes to the Merrill Lynch 2016 and 2017 estimates. The analysts increase 2016 EBITDA numbers from $2.129 billion to $3.751 billion. The 2017 EBITDA numbers go from $2.121 billion to $4.308 billion. The company is expected to report earnings in early May. The analysts also feel that company will be generating cash flow to cover the large dividend by more than two times.
The company reported a better than anticipated first-quarter EBITDA number and guided in line to ahead of Wall Street estimates on post-Verizon deal cash flow. Frontier is the highest yielding non-energy component in the S&P 500.
Frontier investors a paid a huge 8.06% dividend. The Thomson/First Call consensus is posted at $6.07. The stock closed yesterday at $5.21.
This top retailer also looks to benefit from new releases. GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) operates as an omnichannel video game retailer. It sells new and pre-owned video game hardware; physical and digital video game software; pre-owned and value video game products; video game accessories, such as controllers, gaming headsets, memory cards and other add-ons for use with video game hardware and software; and digital products, including downloadable content, network points cards, prepaid digital and subscription cards and digitally downloadable software.
The company also sells mobile and consumer electronics, including smartphones, tablets, headphones and accessories, as well as pre-owned smartphones; personal computer (PC) entertainment software in various genres, including sports, action, strategy, adventure/role playing and simulation; and strategy guides, magazines and gaming-related toys. As of January 30, 2016, it operated approximately 7,117 stores in the United States, Australia, Canada and Europe. GameStop primarily offers its products under the GameStop, EB Games and Micromania names.
Leading Wall Street analysts feel that hardware updates and the holiday release slate this year should help the gaming segment. In addition, the second-half hardware refreshes and fourth-quarter high-quality product releases could help drive traffic to the stores.
GameStop investors are paid a 5.73% dividend. The consensus price objective is set at $35.40. Shares closed Tuesday at $25.84.